Mother Earth Living

Food Matters

All about fresh, flavorful food

Add to My MSN

Maximize your Apple Harvest with Sweet and Savory Herbs

11/11/2011 12:04:05 PM

Tags: Savory Herbs, Sweet Herbs, Sweet Spices, Patsy Bell Hobson, Apples, Apple Desserts, Apple Dishes, Tips

PBHobson2Patsy Bell Hobson is blogging at Oh Grow Up! When not in the garden or on the road, find her in southern Missouri USA. Read more travel stories at Striped Pot . Find more garden, travel and random rants on her Facebook  

"A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible."
—Welsh proverb

It wouldn't be fall without apple pie, cobblers, dumplings, baked apples and my favorite—apple crisp. Most often we think of seasoning apples with herbal spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.

The spices that often accompany apples tend to be those common to accenting sweet flavors. However, I love apples in savory dishes such as baked pork; savory herbs and spices flavor these types of dishes best.

• Five most common apple spices: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and aniseseed.

• Five favorite herbs with apples: sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, dill

11-11-2011-potted rosemary
Rosemary survives early frosts and is easily available for fall dishes. 

SAGE: Savory dishes benefit from the addition of sage, fresh or dried. This is one of my favorite country cooking herbs. It would be impossible to have a Thanksgiving meal without sage roasted with the turkey and the dressing.

ROSEMARY: A sprig of rosemary pairs extremely well with any meat dish. In the fall, I slow cook a lot of poultry or pork. Apples can be used as an additional flavoring with slow cooked or stewed dishes. Apples may be all the sweetness you need in a baked or roasted dish.

MINT: Mint pairs well with apples in dishes containing other fruits, such as fruit salad or teas and ciders. Mint is often in apple and citrus recipes and drinks. A hint of mint added late in a slow cooking process will add another level of flavor to a rich or complex dish.

THYME: Thyme in savory dishes may be just that hint of flavor your dish was missing. Thyme is a team player, found in herb combinations such as bouquet garni or herbes de Provence. Add a sprig of thyme or a few dried leaves to baked fish.

DILL: Dill is an herb not used enough with apples. If your recipe calls for onions or carrots and apples, consider adding a bit of dill. Apples and herbs pair well with root vegetables, grains and eggs.

All of these herbs are best in supporting rolls. They are meant to be subtle when cooking with apples or other fruit.

11-11-2011-pork and apples
Thyme and sage complement both pork and apples.
Photos by Patsy Bell Hobson

Since apples are in good supply now, use orchard fruits to educate your pallet and learn a bit more about herbs. In a dish of plain cooked apples or apple sauce, add just one of these five herbs for taste and to familiarize yourself with it's subtleties. Bake one apple a day and try a different herb with the baked apple every day.

If fresh fruit is your favorite, make a simple apple salad (like Waldorf) and add just a bit of one herb to the salad. Be frugal, use just a bit of any herb. Adding a bit more herb is easy to do if you aren't tasting the flavor.

Related Content

The Caramel Apple: An Appetizing Alternative to Halloween Candy

This scrumptious, all-natural recipe gives you a healthy option your taste buds will love.

4 Health Benefits of Eating Apples

Packed with antioxidants and other healthy substances, apples boast a variety of health benefits, gi...

Green Your Life: Pick Your Own Apples

Now that fall is upon us, try your hand at picking your own apples at a local orchard. Buying local ...

Applesauce, Carrot and Walnut Mini Muffins

Ecoike creator Faith Moser shares a healthy, easy and family-friendly muffin recipe!

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.